Dissertation Writing is Not So Hard: 5 Tips for Constructing a Hypothesis
The process of dissertation writing is lengthy and laborious, with many crucial milestones that cannot be omitted. For instance, the initial point of starting the work on dissertation writing is the formulation of problem and purpose; unless you are able to prove that your research problematic is indeed acute, your PhD proposal makes no sense. Once you have proven the need to study the subject of your interest – here comes the hardest part, methodology! It is not enough to decide on “what” to research; the kernel of any dissertation is the “how” of the research process. Hence, you have to dedicate enough time and effort to formulate and develop a reliable research methodology.
Start Your Methodology with Hypothesis Formulation
Methodology is essentially about selecting how you will prove your point. But what is that point? What relationships do you see between your variables of interest? These may be distilled in a clear dissertation hypothesis – a statement you want to prove with the help of your data. You may consult some reputable resources for dissertation hypothesis help if you feel it is hard to formulate it on your own.
5 Things You Should Know about Research Hypotheses
- It should be formulated only for quantitative research. While quantitative research is used for testing relationships between variables, qualitative research more often deals with human experiences and interpretations, which cannot be tested with hypotheses.
- It should be clear and short. In plain words, hypotheses represent statements that you are going to prove or disprove with data, so there is no sense making lengthy explanations – the gist of the relationship can be expressed in a single sentence. For instance, you may state that parental substance abuse affects the exposure of children to development of mental health problems. Or you can hypothesize that education of inmates is likely to reduce recidivism. The simpler the structure is, the easier it will be for you to conduct actual research.
- The strongest hypotheses suggest causal relationships between variables. Take into account that testing a hypothesis presupposes analyzing relationships between specific variables of interest. To make the study possible, these variables should be operationalized, that is, you should have a clear idea of how you will measure those variables and quantify them into numbers that can be analyzed statistically. Hence, this carefully of relationships that you want to examine – look for cause and effect relationships, moderating relationships, mediation, etc.
- It is always necessary to include both null and alternative hypotheses into the study. You should always be ready to the fact that there is no relationship between variables you are willing to examine. So you should formulate hypotheses in pairs: the null hypothesis about the existence of relationship, and the alternative hypothesis about its absence.
- Hypotheses should be testable and realistic. Keep in mind that it is you who will conduct the study. Therefore, your hypothesis should be realistic; when you formulate the hypothesis, think of how you will test it, select instruments for data collection, operationalize variables, and only if you understand the process of measurement, propose hypothesis for the dissertation.
We hope these were of help to you in your endeavor of writing strong hypothesis! Good luck!